I was driving down a street in Minneapolis about 15 years ago during a visit to see friends and family. Out of the corner of my eye appeared  a beautifully patterned gown gracefully floating in the breeze from its perch on a tree by the side of the road.  I quickly realized that a yard sale was taking place and I brought my car to a screeching halt.

I opened my car window and the man running the sale came to greet me. I inquired about the dress on the tree, and he quickly brought it to me for inspection.  I could feel that it was silk and I adored its unique pattern.  I asked him how much and he replied, “one dollar.”  I handed it over and off I went to visit my 98-year-old grandmother, who was living in long-term care at the time.

When I returned to my friend’s home where I was staying, I brought the dress in to inspect and to my surprise, I realized by its label, that I had purchased a Valentino gown, with scarf, for one dollar.  Without hesitation, I tried it on, and it fit, but needed a few alterations.

The dress hung patiently amidst my collections until a month ago when I brought it to my seamstress for her to work her magic. Upon its arrival home and as I browsed the hat room, I was thrilled to see that the feather hat from Fabulous Fanny’s that I discovered in NYC a few years ago harmonized with the dress and its spirit.  Vintage estate sale heeled sandals and jewelry finished off the ensemble!  Sometimes it takes years to complete an outfit, and in this case it took fifteen.  Everything in due time.

Photos By Daniel

The moral to the story is that you never know when you might find something of value.  It may be hanging from a tree or just before your eyes. Be open to miracles and magic. Both happen every day. Just open the door and let the abundance in.

Linking up with Catherine’s #iwillwearwhatilike HERE at Not Dressed As Lamb and Patti’s Visible Monday HERE at Not Dead Yet Style.


  1. Oh heavens, a 2nd Loved dream come true. I was so proud of my $2 Armani Exchange Silk tunic but a Valentino for $1 is a dream come true. There are so many wonderful things to find out there, with just a little bit of work and imagination. Fast Cheap fashion should be way down on anyone’s list ( but it does have its place). Love this look.

  2. Love the Dress, Love the Matching Hat, and Love the Miracle. Brilliant.
    And, you look Smashing, as always.

  3. What a score! The hat is so good I was sure it had been made to match the dress. Just goes to show that a good designer can create a dress that will be au courant for a very long time! You look fabulous, as always!

  4. ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS story and dress….all the more perfect because of how it unfolded….fluttering in the breeze! Your great eye, creativity, and beauty combine to make this a perfect ensemble….and the hat is PERFECT in sprit and color. Bravo dear, Judith!

  5. Wow, Judith, what a fabulous find! You have a keen eye for beautiful design, and it’s served you well. The whole outfit is just splendid…these pieces were meant for each other!

  6. It is an amazing dress and the hat goes so well with it, that you’d think Valentino made it especially for this gown. I am always amazed by your stories of something in your closet for X ( fifteen ) years. I imagine such a big house. I couldn’t do that. I want to wear what I bought immediately. No patience at all.

  7. What a wonderful find and story! They were made for each other and for you as an ensemble!

  8. What a fabulous dress and ensemble!! Thanks for sharing a great story of discovering such a gem floating in the tree. This special find of yours shows you have a great fashion instincts Judith. You are an inspiration!

  9. “You never know when you might find something of value…” That made my skin tingle. You are so right. Keep the doors open!! It sounds so simple, so easy, but it still requires mindfulness for me.

    This outfit is stunning, Daniel got some great photos too. I can’t believe what that one dollar turned into! A big thanks to that man for hanging it on the tree. This was worth the wait.

  10. That’s an EPIC bargain!
    I mean …WOW….and I thought I was a great bargain hunter :oP
    My (feathered) hat goes off to you Judith!

  11. the dress is just amazing and the hat incredible and how it works,,, perfection!!!
    such a great story.xo

  12. Such a lovely story Judith. Your patience has paid off and here you show us the most exquisite Valentino gown with all your finery in place, hurrah! The abundance of the universe is indeed ours; sometimes we just have to wait a while…

    Wishing you a wonderful week!
    Anna x

  13. What a wonderful story, Judith. And that you’ve only just had it altered recently! It’s beautiful, you are beautiful, such flow in the fabric and style. And how fabulous that the hat was there – or was it that the dress was there, awaiting the hat? Elizabeth. xx

  14. I think that beautiful garments are drawn to you as much as you are to them. How magical to find this gorgeous Valentino hanging on a tree, and then to purchase it for $1. It’s the kind of story that the rest of us secondhand shopping fans drool over. The hat looks like it was custom made for the dress!

Leave a Response

Hi there! Want more fashion inspiration?

Enter your email address to receive blog posts the day they are published! Let's be inbox friends, shall we?

Thank you!


Check your email for confirmation and stay tunned for weekly style inspiration!